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Help! Flower buds are falling off

This is a discussion on Help! Flower buds are falling off within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; After a long year of waiting, my Phalaenopsis is finally started to grow flower buds. ...

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  1. #1
    lilyb is offline Junior Member
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    Question Help! Flower buds are falling off

    After a long year of waiting, my Phalaenopsis is finally started to grow flower buds. However, after few weeks of growing, the flower buds are falling off one by one without blossom. I've been watering once per week, and fertilizing every other week. Last week, I started watering every 2,3 days. Still, the 3rd flower bud is starting to die. What can I do to keep the rest of the flower buds growing and turn into flowers? Many, many thanks!

  2. #2
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    I read your post and you said you changed your watering practices to 2-3 days. Relax there is no need to change your watering practices because of flower development. The plant is getting more water than it needs and it is getting stressed out. I suggest that you return back to your old watering practices. Your plant can produce more buds for you on that spike.

  3. #3
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    Ditto to smartie2000. You may have a problem with not enough light as well. Although phals are "low light" orchids, they do still need some light. It might help us if you showed us a picture of the orchid in it's usual growing spot.

    Crazy as it sounds, overwatering can actually kill phal. Depending upon what you are growing your plant in, 2-3 times a week may be too much. (Mine grow in clay pots, with a medium bark mix for the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 of the pot and then sphag moss on the top and I water about once a week. )

    Just don't get frustrated--part of the fun/challenge of orchids is figuring out what they like as far as water, light etc etc. Everyone goes through a little trial and error based on their growing conditions. The more detail you can give us on your growing conditions, the more we might be able to help.

    Welcome to the forum by the way.

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    lilyb is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the quick response. Here are some additional information about my phal: it sits in a clay pot, and resides in the south-facing room, which gets plenty of sun light during the day. I only started to water more after I noticed the first bus was turning yellow. I'm going to go back to the once per week watering routine now. Attached are also some pictures I just took.
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  5. #5
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    Hi LilyB! Welcome to the forum. From your photo it is clear to me that your plant needs more sunlight. It is so dark green. Most phals do well when their leaves are a bright yellow-green. There are some darker leafed phals, and yours could be one of those, but my guess is that it is from insufficient light. Darker leafed phals sometimes start to turn red when they get too much sunlight. My guess is that you need to give this orchid a bit more light and water only once a week.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Nice decorative pot! It doesn't look free draining, so I hope you don't let water sit in there. Your plant looks healthy...
    but, Is that the actual shade of green the leaves are? The look just a little bit darker than they should be ideally. If this is the case, the plant is producing more chlorophyll pigments to satisfy its need to absorb more light energy because it is not getting enough of it.
    Your southern window should be providing plenty of good light, I hope the plant isn't a great distant away from it, because the light diminishes greatly indoors. It should be a foot away at the most and if it is getting too much direct sunlight, then shear curtains will help eliminate sunburn.

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    I don't want to info overload you -- and everything above is absolutely right. (not surprising given the sources!) Although I wish I could grow my orchids in the middle of the table or on the coffee table like you see in the magazines, they need more light.

    I'd move yours closer to the window. If it is southfacing you will want to either be slightly further from the window or get some sheer curtains. (I use sheer curtains on my south facing windows and it works wonderfully.) Phals don't like hot/direct sun (they get black burned spots on the leaves). A good rule of thumb is that if the leaf feels hot, it is probably getting too much direct sunlight. Try moving yours closer and see what happens. Keep us posted.

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    lilyb is offline Junior Member
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    My Phal sits in a clay pot with draining holes. I normall let the water drain completly before I put the clay pot back into the decorative pot. The leaves are kind of dark in color. Although the pot is by the window, but sits about 2 feet away from the window. I'll move it closer to window so it will get more sunlight.

    Thank you so much for everyone's great advices. I'll keep you posted with the progress.

  9. #9
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    Hi Lily,

    I'm agreeing with everyone, and hoping not to confuse you!

    Any change in conditions can cause a Phal to blast its buds. They're most sensitive to change just before through the period just after blooming. A change in watering could be all your problem is.

    Your leaves are very dark, and I agree the plant probably wants more sun. Midday sun and summer heat will likely be your biggest concerns - otherwise go for it. But if you want to keep you existing buds happy, make your changes gradually!

    Don't make any sudden adjustments, and you'll likely be rewarded with beautiful flowers! Keep us posted!

    McJulie

  10. #10
    Jimboborchid is offline Junior Member
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    There does appear to be one or two problems here. Because it has spiked in the current conditions, it tells me you probably have enough light. Hard to say though, the leaves are dark, however the high contrast of the photo makes me think it is just the photo. Is the shadow on the wall from a flash or natural light?
    The leaves look droopy. The pot looks like a pot inside a pot which is fine as long as it drains well.
    How cold does it get at night? is the water cold you are watering with?
    With Phals, underwatering will make the buds blast easily. Are you letting the medium dry slightly before rewatering? You should check the roots, tell us what medium it is in. if the roots are black and soggy, you are watering too much, if they are wrinkled and crispy, you are watering too little.
    There does appear some root problems. I am a severe underwaterer, once a week in my greenhouse is ok for most plants, but my seedlings require more.
    Give us more info and take pictures.
    p.s.
    Name of the phal would help.

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